Welcome to the latest edition of “Ask Anne” blog posts where I answer the questions that I get asked the most and I so imagine that they might be on your mind too. I hope you find these articles useful, and they give you some insights into how you can grow your services with ease and speed.
Question: It’s a struggle to find time to focus on growing the business when I am flat-out doing client work, what do you suggest?
Solution: This is a common problem for many service-based business owners, especially if they are key to delivering the service and have a strong relationship with their clients. This is a well-worn path with some best practices to draw on that can help free up valuable time to focus on moving the business forward.
If you are already working flat out or near capacity, then the first thing to do is assess exactly what you are spending your time on. This might reveal some areas that could be delegated or done more efficiently, freeing up time to focus on growing your business. The simplest way of doing this is to jot down everything that you are working on over the next couple of weeks, you don’t need to be too precise as you are only looking for themes.
The next step is to look at your list and see if there are any tasks that other people could do, as well if not better than you at a lower cost. Then think about who you know that could do these tasks. There may even be someone in your circle of friends or family that might welcome the opportunity and experience to do some extra work.
Alternatively, there are some good low-cost outsourced, and freelance options these days, so ask your network for recommendations or search online for virtual assistants or specialist freelancer workers. Good places to find skilled people are LinkedIn, Facebook, Fivver, and Upwork. They will be able to deal with a wide range of tasks that eat up your time, such as email management, social media management, research, event management, invoicing, content creation, design work and so much more.
If you are part of a bigger business team, I recommend that you revisit everyone’s roles and responsibilities to assess if there is scope for anyone else to take on a few more tasks, this could be a good development opportunity for them.
4. Block Time
Another great time tactic is to block out time to work on your business every week or even better every day. Treat your business as if it was one of your clients that needs dedicated time and attention to help it grow and improve. I learned this lesson myself when I realised that my clients’ businesses were growing far faster than my own!
5. Work Patterns
I am also a big fan of using different work patterns to keep multiple tasks and projects moving forward. For example, you might be able to organise your schedule, so that you only have meetings on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, leaving the other 2 days to focus on other business areas, such as sales, marketing, projects, etc.
Another popular work pattern is to hold meetings in the mornings or afternoons only. If you are working on a project, then blocking out whole days or half days to focus on it and keep it moving forward can also work well.
Most good companies run like clockwork because they have invested time and money into building systems and automation wherever possible. This principle applies just as well to any size business. The busier you get the greater the need for more systems and automation. If you are spending time on repetitive tasks, then this is a hint that you probably need a system. Some of my favourite business support systems are Xero, Calendly, Trello, Capsule, Active Campaign, and Connect365, and the Automation Agency.
Finally, your workload may be telling you that it’s time to think about scaling your business, especially if you have been running at full capacity for more than a few months and still have plenty more work in the pipeline. There are many different scale-up models that you could consider, such as taking on employees, using associates, building a virtual team of freelancers, engaging an agency, or even finding franchisees.
Once you have freed up some time, resist the temptation to fill it with more clients or anything else other than business development. As a guide, aim to spend at least 25% of your time growing and developing your business and you’ll soon see results. If you need a bit of help to work out what you should be spending this time on, and setting the business in the right direction then consider working with a business coach or an experienced business person to keep your growth plans on track and moving forward.
Need More help?
If you have any questions or would like to chat more about how to grow your service business faster, then feel free to drop me a line [email protected] or book a FREE BUSINESS GROWTH CALL with me today https://calendly.com/anne-oreilly/business-growth-call
On the call, we’ll look at where you are now, where you want to be, what’s eating up your time, and where the opportunities are in your business.
You’ll go away with a clear 3-Step Action Plan to get things moving quickly to help generate more money, free up your time and get the support you need. You’ll leave the call feeling clear, confident, and excited about taking things to the next level.
Don’t delay book your call today: https://calendly.com/anne-oreilly/business-growth-call
Alternatively, take the FREE BUSINESS ASSESSMENT and I’ll send you a personalised report highlighting the areas to work on that will make a big difference.